Table: Taking Action

By Lynn Olson — February 23, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

See Also

Return to the main story,

High Schools in Limelight for Summit

The “Action Agenda for Improving America’s High Schools” outlines strategies states can take to ensure that high schoolers graduate ready for work or college.

Restore Value to the High School Diploma

• Postsecondary and business leaders should work with K-12 educators to verify that high school academic standards reflect the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in well-paying, entry-level jobs and in credit-bearing college and university courses.

• States should require all students to complete a common set of high school courses that provide that knowledge and those skills, including specifying the core content within the courses.

• State tests should reflect whether high school students are college- and work-ready.

Redesign High Schools

• States should redesign high schools to better serve all students, with a priority on reorganizing low-performing high schools first.

• States should provide incentives for all communities to expand their supply of high-quality high schools. for example, states can support charter school laws, provide innovation funds for the establishment of new schools, and expand opportunities for high school students to take college-level classes and earn college credit.

• States should ensure that students at risk of school failure receive the help they need. That means targeting time and resources to low-performing students during and after the school day, encouraging low-achieving students to take more challenging courses, and designing individual learning plans for at-risk students.

Give High School Students the Excellent Teachers and Principals They Need

• States need to help high school teachers upgrade their skills and knowledge in the subjects they teach, in part by changing teacher-licensing requirements and teacher-preparation programs and better targeting professional-development money.

• States should provide incentives to recruit and keep teachers where they are needed most: in subjects such as math, science, and special education, and in high poverty and low-performing schools.

• States and local education leaders should work together to define the role of the high school principal and cultivate the conditions that enable principals to be successful.

• Principals must be given the authority to make schoollevel personnel and budgeting decisions, and must be held accountable for results.

Set Goals, Measure Progress, and Hold High Schools and Colleges Accountable

• States need to improve their ability to collect, coordinate, and use secondary and postsecondary data.

• States need to use multiple indicators to evaluate high schools, including test scores, graduation rates, and the percent of graduates who enroll in higher education and need remedial classes once they get there.

• Every postsecondary institution should be required to report publicly how many entering students are enrolled in remedial courses, how many drop out after the first year of college, and how many ultimately complete a degree. States should provide financial incentives for institutions that show progress.

Streamline and Improve Education Governance

• At a minimum, states should set up a permanent statewide commission or roundtable to frame a common education agenda for pre-K-16 and track progress.

A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2005 edition of Education Week as Taking Action


Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Student Achievement Webinar Examining the Evidence: What We’re Learning From the Field About Implementing High-Dosage Tutoring Programs
Tutoring programs have become a leading strategy to address COVID-19 learning loss. What evidence-based principles can district and school leaders draw on to design, implement, measure, and improve high-quality tutoring programs? And what are districts

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)